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People sit and talk near Ontario Place's Cinesphere. The Ontario government is facing calls to release details of its long-term lease agreement for a private spa and waterpark as part of its planned redevelopment of the site.Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

The Ontario government says it will not release any details of its long-term lease agreement with the private spa and waterpark that is the centrepiece of its planned redevelopment of Ontario Place, or the “business case” that it says justifies moving the Ontario Science Centre to the Toronto waterfront location.

Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma last week said the government would release details about the business case she says shows that moving the 52-year-old science centre from its current location in North York to a new building on the waterfront makes financial sense. But a spokesperson for her office said Monday that the information won’t be released.

“To protect the integrity of the procurement process, the business case and terms of the lease agreement are confidential. This standard practice ensures the province is able to negotiate and get the best deal for taxpayers,” spokesperson Andrea Chiappetta said in an e-mail.

“While the terms of the lease remain commercially sensitive, the tenants are making significant investments into the improvement, maintenance and repair of the surrounding public spaces to help keep the site clean and beautiful all year long,” Mr. Chiappetta said.

Ms. Surma had told CBC’s Metro Morning last week that the province is “verifying the numbers” and triple-checking the information before releasing the business case to the public. “We will share it once the numbers are verified,” Ms. Surma said.

Ms. Surma was not available for an interview on Monday, Mr. Chiappetta said.

Meanwhile, opposition parties called on Premier Doug Ford’s government to release details of its decades-long lease agreement with Therme Group, after Global News reported the Vienna-based private spa company has signed a 95-year lease with the province. Therme plans to build a $350-million, 65,000-square-metre spa and waterpark that would rise 45 metres in the air, while also promising to set aside some land as free outdoor space.

A spokesman for Therme Group did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles called on the government to release both the business case for the science centre move and a copy of the contract with Therme, arguing that 95-year leases “are more usual when it’s public land being leased to a public institution, but this is parkland being leased to a for-profit international corporate conglomerate.”

“I’d like to see the details of the contract that they’ve made. Because 95 years – that’s outrageous,” she said. “We have no details and Ontarians have had no say.”

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser had similar questions about arrangements for the land. “Now that we’re taking this crown jewel of Toronto and leasing it out for 95 years – what are the terms of that? What can this company do on that land over the next 95 years?” he said.

In Question Period on Monday, Ms. Surma said the government is entering into a long-term lease with Therme and that the company is spending $500-million in capital investment on the site, including on about five hectares of rehabilitated parkland that will be open to the public.

“These are standard lease agreements. Unlike other waterfront destinations, we are not selling the land; the land will continue to be in ownership of the people of the province,” she said.

Last week, the province revealed a master plan for the Ontario Place redevelopment that includes the previously announced spa and waterpark, a year-round concert venue, and about 17 hectares of additional parkland and public beach areas.

The province also plans to spend at least $200-million preparing the site for development and hundreds of millions more building an underground parking garage for 2,100 cars, which the government said will generate revenue for the province.

Ontario Place opened in 1971, and was home to an amusement park before the provincial government shuttered those parts of the grounds in 2012.

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